A graceful, marvellously achieved improvisation that only a novelist of the greatest imagination and sympathy could have written
Julian Evans, Guardian
Put it at the top of your reading list
Haasse has created a compelling piece of innovative historical fiction ... [She] effortlessly combines an evocation of the plantation's heady, lush vegetation with her articulation of the growing distance between man and wife. And her aptly chosen metaphors are all skillfully conveyed in Ina Rilke's translation
From the Same Author
The Black Lake
, translated by Ina Rilke
Amid the lush abundance of Java’s landscape, two boys spend their days exploring the vast lakes and teeming forests. But as time passes the boys come to realize that their shared sense of adventure cannot bridge the gulf between their backgrounds, for one is the son of a Dutch plantation owner, and the other the son of a servant. Inevitably, as they grow up, they grow estranged and it is not until years later that they meet again. It will be an explosive and emblematic meeting that marks them even more deeply than their childhood friendship did.